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Grand Palais: Exterior detail, central facade topped with sculpture
A number of allegorical statue groups including work by sculptors Paul Gasq and Alfred Boucher. A monumental bronze quadriga by Georges Récipon tops each wing of the main façade.
Girault had done temporary structures for Exposition Universelle, Paris, of 1889 and of 1900. He also erected two structures that were intended to outlast the 1900 exhibition: the Petit Palais, which was entirely his own work, and the Grand Palais, of which he was principal architect, working in partnership with Henri-Adolphe-Auguste Deglane, Albert Louvet (1860-1936) and Albert-Théophile-Félix Thomas (1847-1907). The two buildings flank the broad Avenue Alexandre III, just off the Avenue des Champs-Elysées. The façades are interpretations of 18th-century French architecture. Behind exterior façades built entirely of stone, the Grand Palais is in fact one great iron-framed and glass hall (almost 240 metres long). Its plain interior décor centres on a grand staircase leading to the upper galleries.